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National Assembly to be normalized on Feb. 5

Posted January. 27, 2001 18:07,   


The ruling and opposition parties agreed in a meeting of their floor leaders Saturday to normalize the National Assembly on Feb. 5.

Under the blitzkrieg bipartisan accord, the National Assembly will hear a report on state affairs from Prime Minister Lee Han-Dong in a plenary session on Feb. 5.

According to the operational timetable of the 217th extraordinary Assembly session, which had been crippled, representatives of the three floor negotiating groups will make keynote speeches on Feb. 6-8.

After the party leaders' speeches, the Assembly will close the special session and convene the new 218th session from Feb. 9-28, the floor leaders agreed.

In the new extra session, the Assembly will conduct interpellations of the administration from Feb. 9-15.

The floor leaders of the rival parties -- Rep. Chung Kyun-Hwan of the ruling Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) and Rep. Chung Chang-Hwa of the opposition Grand National Party (GNP) -- reached the agreement to normalize the Assembly during their first official meeting in nearly a month.

The two parties had been at loggerheads over the MDP's 'lending' of three lawmakers to the splinter United Liberal Democrats (ULD) to allow the ULD to qualify as a floor negotiating group and the alleged funneling of national intelligence agency budget funds into the former ruling New Korea Party, predecessor of GNP, ahead of the 1996 general election.

However, the Assembly session is expected to face rough sailing as the rival parties are forecast to engage in a bitter tug-of-war over pending political issues such as misappropriation of funds by the Agency for National Security Planning and the reopening of a hearing on the use of public funds.

Leading members of the two parties also were learned to have discussed ways of cooperating on issues related to the peoples' livelihoods and inter-Korean relations by separating them from pending political questions.